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Inland Fisheries Ireland has announced a new funding call for 2019 with three funding schemes now open to angling clubs and community groups.

The funding has been made available for fisheries conservation projects and development projects nationwide through the National Strategy for Angling Development (NSAD).

Applications are invited from angling clubs, local development associations, tidy towns and others who may be looking to carry out projects.

The 2019 funding call consists of three schemes.

The NSAD Capital Grants Scheme 2019 (€136,000) is aimed specifically at capital improvement works with grants available to groups and individuals looking to improve angling access and infrastructure in their locality.

The Salmon and Sea Trout Rehabilitation, Conservation and Protection Fund focuses on the protection of both salmon and sea trout. It will fund rehabilitation, protection and conservation projects, all of which must focus on salmon or sea trout. This fund replaces the Salmon Conservation Fund and extends it to include both salmon and sea trout with project values starting from €2,000 for awareness projects. The upper limit of €15,000 has been removed.

The Midlands Fisheries Fund (€50,000) will focus on conservation and rehabilitation projects in the midland fisheries permit area. The fund has been created through contributions from the permit income received via the Midlands Fisheries Group permit area.

Sean Canney, Minister of State with responsibility for the inland fisheries sector, said: “Since the inception of the National Strategy for Angling Development, we have invested €3.4 million in fisheries development, protection and conservation projects across the country.

“Progress is being made in the delivery of projects which support vital fisheries conservation and rehabilitation and which enhance Ireland’s angling offering. The fisheries resource should be enjoyed by all and this funding call today once more will help bring angling to the broader community in a conservation focused manner.”

Suzanne Campion of IFI said it looks forward to working with community groups from application to delivery stage on their projects.

“We are already partnering with over a hundred clubs and associations in the delivery of fisheries projects. The commitment of these groups in making a valuable difference to their locality is inspiring.”

For more information about the 2019 funding call, to download an information booklet and to submit an Expression of Interest, visit www.fisheriesireland.ie/funding.

All applicants must apply through the Expression of Interest, which opens today (Tuesday 16 April), to progress to full application. Full applications may be submitted from Monday 20 May with the closing date for applications on Thursday 20 June.

IFI will be hosting information workshops over the coming weeks for those looking for further information or support with the application process:

  • Dublin — Citywest Hotel — Monday 29 April
  • Cavan — Cavan Crystal Hotel — Tuesday 30 April
  • Donegal — Harvey’s Point — Wednesday 1 May
  • Ballina — The Great National Hotel — Thursday 2 May
  • Galway — Maldron Hotel, Oranmore — Friday 3 May
  • Limerick — Maldron Hotel — Tuesday 7 May
  • Tralee — Ballygarry Hotel — Wednesday 8 May
  • Cork City — Rochestown Park Hotel — Thursday 9 May
  • Kilkenny — Ormonde Hotel — Friday 10 May
Published in Angling

#CorkHarbour - The Evening Echo reports that Penrose Dock is the latest office development project to be greenlit for Cork’s city centre docklands.

Located adjacent to the Horgan’s Quay project launched a year ago, the proposal by John Cleary Developments will see 250,000 sqft of office space on a nearly two-acre site on Penrose Quay — where a ‘tall ship hotel’ could be moored later this year.

A ‘townhall space’ plus a café and underground parking are included in the Penrose Dock plans, which also seek to retain the historic Penrose House building on the quayside.

The announcement comes shortly after Property Week highlighted Cork — and Dublin — as an as-yet-untapped opportunity for waterfront regeneration.

“Cork’s docklands have been described as the last great undeveloped urban landbank in Ireland,” writes Richard Hook in his analysis of a growing list of redevelopment plans in the city and wider Cork Harbour area.

Published in Cork Harbour
Tagged under

#DublinBay - New plans to redevelop Bulloch Harbour, Dalkey in south Dublin writes The Irish Times has been dismissed by local opponents as “in some respects worse” than an original design rejected by planners a year ago.

A public meeting took place on Tuesday night aimed at rallying opposition to the development (see previous report) which Bartra Capital Property Group is behind.

The company, founded by developer Richard Barrett, has revised its earlier plan and hopes to secure permission from Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council for a scheme that would include two apartments and three large houses. It would also provide a building workshop for “traditional timber boats”, a public square, a cafe, community changing facilities and new units for existing businesses, including boat rentals.

Despite the developer’s insistence it addressed issues arising from its previous application, opponents say they remain concerned about potential flooding, wave over-topping and a scale of build considered “a gross intrusion” to the existing area.

“Unfortunately, this new application is in some respects worse than the one refused by the council,” said the Bulloch Harbour Preservation Association (BHPA) which organised the meeting, attended by about 250 people.

Its members believe the new application “pays virtually no attention to the special character, heritage and history of this small working harbour”.

To read further on the history and heritage of the small south Dublin Bay harbour, click here.

Published in Dublin Bay

#Property - Horgan’s Quay in Cork is set for a transformation with new offices, apartments, a hotel and an open plaza beside the River Lee.

Plans were first mooted a year ago for development of the CIÉ lands in the heart of Cork city, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

But the Irish Examiner confirms that planning permission was finally lodged this past week for the €160 million ‘HQ’ development over six acres adjacent to Kent Station.

The scheme will have 160 metres of frontage on Horgan’s Quay, opposite the Port of Cork site on Custom House Quay for which buyers were being sought earlier this year.

The Irish Examiner has more on the story HERE.

Published in Waterfront Property

#TeamRacing - Last weekend’s Student Yachting Worlds selection in Howth shows the health of team racing among the collegiate set, especially among those sailing for fun.

But team racing as a discipline is more than just an opportunity for lapsed or lower-skilled sailors to get their jollies on the water — it’s an untapped pool of potential club members with the itch to sail on a regular basis.

Indeed, the Irish Sailing Association says team racing “is an excellent format to promote more sailing” and notes that more and more clubs are procuring boats for precisely this purpose.

The short racing format and potential for regular intra- and inter-club meets also cultivates the elusive ‘fun factor’ that could keep younger sailors as active club members for years to come.

To this end, the ISA is holding a team racing development meeting at the National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire from 7pm on Wednesday 24 May to discuss the potential of building team racing within Ireland’s sailing clubs and help the concept ‘go viral’.

Interested clubs should contact [email protected] by Friday 12 May.

Published in Team Racing
Tagged under

#IrishMarinas - A long-awaited marina development in Schull Harbour may finally get under way if funding from three possible sources can be secured, according to the Southern Star.

Fáilte Ireland, the Coastal Infrastructure Capital Programme and EU funds have been identified as target sources to make up the majority of the €6 million budget for the project, which includes a new slipway and public promenade, that was first greenlit by planners a decade ago.

Cork County Council also told councillors at a recent meeting that €375,000 will be allocated to match €1.125m in public funding for necessary pier works.

Planning permission for the 200-plus-berth marina was due to run out this year, as previously reported on Afloat.ie, but it has now been extended till 2022 — though a foreshore lease must come before any work can begin.

The Southern Star has more on the story HERE.

Published in Irish Marinas
Tagged under

#DunLaoghaire - Close to 100 people attended a meeting last night (Thursday 27 October) in the Royal Marine Hotel organised by the Save Our Seafront (SOS) community group, writes our special correspondent.

SOS campaigns for the public interest in the foreshore of Dun Laoghaire and against what they believe to be the inappropriate developments proposed by the authorities with responsibility for the coastal aspects of the harbour and the borough.

An imminent decision by An Bord Pleanala on the Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company’s (DLHC) application to develop a major cruise liner terminal in the harbour was a significant factor in the discussion.

But the general sentiment was that no matter what the outcome, DLHC’s finances are widely believed to be in such a position that development would not be possible.

The alleged lack of fiscal responsibility by the DHLC was referred to repeatedly by the top table and from the floor.

Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown councillors were not spared criticism, either, as several participants noted Cllr Melisa Halpin was the only one of the 40 elected representatives in attendance.

The recent pronouncement in the Senate by Transport Minister Shane Ross that a transfer of the responsibilities of DLHC was imminent was linked by Richard Boyd Barrett TD to the delay in the planning decision, when he said: “After five years in the Dáil, I don't believe in coincidences anymore.”

The meeting encouraged participants to lobby their councillors to vote for a complete takeover of the DLHC by the council, rather than the ‘quango’ option whereby the DLHC would remain as an entity within the council structure.

All types of harbour users were present at the meeting, many of whom were sailors.

Speakers concurred that the future of the harbour lay in water sports and in the wider maritime heritage sector, partially supported by smaller commercial activity than that envisaged by the DLHC.

#Greystones - Following moves to complete clubhouses for Greystones Harbour users comes news that work is resuming on the delayed residential part of the €300 million marina development.

According to The Irish Times, the first of an expected 350-plus new homes will be offered for sale by April 2016 after new builders Bridgedale Homes were appointed to the waterfront development to complete the housing and landscaping aspects.

Commercial units will follow later in the new year – and in the meantime, the five clubs awaiting their new facilities have been handed €1 million for fitting out the buildings in time for spring.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Greystones Harbour

#Greystones - Moves are being made to complete developments for five clubs in Greystones Harbour before year's end, as the Wicklow Times reports.

Developer Bridgedale JV recently informed Greystones Municipal District councillors that the €3.5 million facilities are nearing completion after ground was broken in January this year.

The news was welcomed by Cllr Derek Mitchell, who expected the new public square to be completed in June 2016, with a public park to follow in 2019.

This comes after a delay on the development in September over an issue with the transfer of land earmarked for the green space.

Published in Greystones Harbour

#GalwayPort - Business leaders have welcomed the news that the €126 million Galway Port extension project will be proceed under the IROPI section of the EU Habitats Directive.

According to the Galway Independent, the decision by An Bord Pleanála to proceed under IROPI – or Imperative Reasons of Overriding Public Interest – is a first for Ireland.

Progress will involve establishing replacement habitats for those that would be adversely affected by the port extension. As previously reported on Afloat.ie, it was determined that a number of reef, mud and sand habitats would be destroyed by the 24 hectares of land reclamation required.

But there's better news for those with environmental concerns, as planners have determined that two nearby Natura sites – the Inner Galway Bay Special Protection Are and the Lough Corrib Special Area of Conservation – will see no impact, while priority habitats at Lough Atalia and Renmore Loughs will not be "negatively affected".

The board has also recommended "tight co-operation" between the Galway Harbour Company and local authorities to ensure conservation is made top priority throughout the project.

The Galway Independent has more on the story HERE.

Published in Galway Harbour
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Ireland's Offshore Renewable Energy

Because of Ireland's location at the Atlantic edge of the EU, it has more offshore energy potential than most other countries in Europe. The conditions are suitable for the development of the full range of current offshore renewable energy technologies.

Offshore Renewable Energy FAQs

Offshore renewable energy draws on the natural energy provided by wind, wave and tide to convert it into electricity for industry and domestic consumption.

Offshore wind is the most advanced technology, using fixed wind turbines in coastal areas, while floating wind is a developing technology more suited to deeper water. In 2018, offshore wind provided a tiny fraction of global electricity supply, but it is set to expand strongly in the coming decades into a USD 1 trillion business, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). It says that turbines are growing in size and in power capacity, which in turn is "delivering major performance and cost improvements for offshore wind farms".

The global offshore wind market grew nearly 30% per year between 2010 and 2018, according to the IEA, due to rapid technology improvements, It calculated that about 150 new offshore wind projects are in active development around the world. Europe in particular has fostered the technology's development, led by Britain, Germany and Denmark, but China added more capacity than any other country in 2018.

A report for the Irish Wind Energy Assocation (IWEA) by the Carbon Trust – a British government-backed limited company established to accelerate Britain's move to a low carbon economy - says there are currently 14 fixed-bottom wind energy projects, four floating wind projects and one project that has yet to choose a technology at some stage of development in Irish waters. Some of these projects are aiming to build before 2030 to contribute to the 5GW target set by the Irish government, and others are expected to build after 2030. These projects have to secure planning permission, obtain a grid connection and also be successful in a competitive auction in the Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS).

The electricity generated by each turbine is collected by an offshore electricity substation located within the wind farm. Seabed cables connect the offshore substation to an onshore substation on the coast. These cables transport the electricity to land from where it will be used to power homes, farms and businesses around Ireland. The offshore developer works with EirGrid, which operates the national grid, to identify how best to do this and where exactly on the grid the project should connect.

The new Marine Planning and Development Management Bill will create a new streamlined system for planning permission for activity or infrastructure in Irish waters or on the seabed, including offshore wind farms. It is due to be published before the end of 2020 and enacted in 2021.

There are a number of companies aiming to develop offshore wind energy off the Irish coast and some of the larger ones would be ESB, SSE Renewables, Energia, Statkraft and RWE.

There are a number of companies aiming to develop offshore wind energy off the Irish coast and some of the larger ones would be ESB, SSE Renewables, Energia, Statkraft and RWE. Is there scope for community involvement in offshore wind? The IWEA says that from the early stages of a project, the wind farm developer "should be engaging with the local community to inform them about the project, answer their questions and listen to their concerns". It says this provides the community with "the opportunity to work with the developer to help shape the final layout and design of the project". Listening to fishing industry concerns, and how fishermen may be affected by survey works, construction and eventual operation of a project is "of particular concern to developers", the IWEA says. It says there will also be a community benefit fund put in place for each project. It says the final details of this will be addressed in the design of the RESS (see below) for offshore wind but it has the potential to be "tens of millions of euro over the 15 years of the RESS contract". The Government is also considering the possibility that communities will be enabled to invest in offshore wind farms though there is "no clarity yet on how this would work", the IWEA says.

Based on current plans, it would amount to around 12 GW of offshore wind energy. However, the IWEA points out that is unlikely that all of the projects planned will be completed. The industry says there is even more significant potential for floating offshore wind off Ireland's west coast and the Programme for Government contains a commitment to develop a long-term plan for at least 30 GW of floating offshore wind in our deeper waters.

There are many different models of turbines. The larger a turbine, the more efficient it is in producing electricity at a good price. In choosing a turbine model the developer will be conscious of this ,but also has to be aware the impact of the turbine on the environment, marine life, biodiversity and visual impact. As a broad rule an offshore wind turbine will have a tip-height of between 165m and 215m tall. However, turbine technology is evolving at a rapid rate with larger more efficient turbines anticipated on the market in the coming years.

 

The Renewable Electricity Support Scheme is designed to support the development of renewable energy projects in Ireland. Under the scheme wind farms and solar farms compete against each other in an auction with the projects which offer power at the lowest price awarded contracts. These contracts provide them with a guaranteed price for their power for 15 years. If they obtain a better price for their electricity on the wholesale market they must return the difference to the consumer.

Yes. The first auction for offshore renewable energy projects is expected to take place in late 2021.

Cost is one difference, and technology is another. Floating wind farm technology is relatively new, but allows use of deeper water. Ireland's 50-metre contour line is the limit for traditional bottom-fixed wind farms, and it is also very close to population centres, which makes visibility of large turbines an issue - hence the attraction of floating structures Do offshore wind farms pose a navigational hazard to shipping? Inshore fishermen do have valid concerns. One of the first steps in identifying a site as a potential location for an offshore wind farm is to identify and assess the level of existing marine activity in the area and this particularly includes shipping. The National Marine Planning Framework aims to create, for the first time, a plan to balance the various kinds of offshore activity with the protection of the Irish marine environment. This is expected to be published before the end of 2020, and will set out clearly where is suitable for offshore renewable energy development and where it is not - due, for example, to shipping movements and safe navigation.

YEnvironmental organisations are concerned about the impact of turbines on bird populations, particularly migrating birds. A Danish scientific study published in 2019 found evidence that larger birds were tending to avoid turbine blades, but said it didn't have sufficient evidence for smaller birds – and cautioned that the cumulative effect of farms could still have an impact on bird movements. A full environmental impact assessment has to be carried out before a developer can apply for planning permission to develop an offshore wind farm. This would include desk-based studies as well as extensive surveys of the population and movements of birds and marine mammals, as well as fish and seabed habitats. If a potential environmental impact is identified the developer must, as part of the planning application, show how the project will be designed in such a way as to avoid the impact or to mitigate against it.

A typical 500 MW offshore wind farm would require an operations and maintenance base which would be on the nearby coast. Such a project would generally create between 80-100 fulltime jobs, according to the IWEA. There would also be a substantial increase to in-direct employment and associated socio-economic benefit to the surrounding area where the operation and maintenance hub is located.

The recent Carbon Trust report for the IWEA, entitled Harnessing our potential, identified significant skills shortages for offshore wind in Ireland across the areas of engineering financial services and logistics. The IWEA says that as Ireland is a relatively new entrant to the offshore wind market, there are "opportunities to develop and implement strategies to address the skills shortages for delivering offshore wind and for Ireland to be a net exporter of human capital and skills to the highly competitive global offshore wind supply chain". Offshore wind requires a diverse workforce with jobs in both transferable (for example from the oil and gas sector) and specialist disciplines across apprenticeships and higher education. IWEA have a training network called the Green Tech Skillnet that facilitates training and networking opportunities in the renewable energy sector.

It is expected that developing the 3.5 GW of offshore wind energy identified in the Government's Climate Action Plan would create around 2,500 jobs in construction and development and around 700 permanent operations and maintenance jobs. The Programme for Government published in 2020 has an enhanced target of 5 GW of offshore wind which would create even more employment. The industry says that in the initial stages, the development of offshore wind energy would create employment in conducting environmental surveys, community engagement and development applications for planning. As a site moves to construction, people with backgrounds in various types of engineering, marine construction and marine transport would be recruited. Once the site is up and running , a project requires a team of turbine technicians, engineers and administrators to ensure the wind farm is fully and properly maintained, as well as crew for the crew transfer vessels transporting workers from shore to the turbines.

The IEA says that today's offshore wind market "doesn't even come close to tapping the full potential – with high-quality resources available in most major markets". It estimates that offshore wind has the potential to generate more than 420 000 Terawatt hours per year (TWh/yr) worldwide – as in more than 18 times the current global electricity demand. One Terawatt is 114 megawatts, and to put it in context, Scotland it has a population a little over 5 million and requires 25 TWh/yr of electrical energy.

Not as advanced as wind, with anchoring a big challenge – given that the most effective wave energy has to be in the most energetic locations, such as the Irish west coast. Britain, Ireland and Portugal are regarded as most advanced in developing wave energy technology. The prize is significant, the industry says, as there are forecasts that varying between 4000TWh/yr to 29500TWh/yr. Europe consumes around 3000TWh/year.

The industry has two main umbrella organisations – the Irish Wind Energy Association, which represents both onshore and offshore wind, and the Marine Renewables Industry Association, which focuses on all types of renewable in the marine environment.

©Afloat 2020

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